Friday, February 9, 2024

It's a found life for the pack of us

Book. 2019. Available £150

As I mentioned last week, this month I am focussing on my Book Series. The book series was created in 2019 as a follow-up to the original books that I created to earn my BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Oregon in 1999. 

I thought it would be fun to share the following review of my exhibition from back then. The last time I shared this was in 2008, so seems like it is time again. 

What follows is a spontaneous review of my show I found inside my comment book, written by my old friend Hayyim (Howard) Cohen. We worked together side by side in little cubicles selling the newspaper in a tiny downtown office and became fast friends in the 90s in Eugene, Oregon. He would share his 
New York Times Arts section with me during breaks.

Megan by Hayyim Cohen (written in 1999)

"Combining subversive parody, red (life), black (nothingness) and white (blinding light), duct tape to shut out the noisy excess, upholstery tacks, and the dead bodies of obsolete technical books, Megan Chapman (see your dictionary- "Chapman" means seller) creates lyrical southern "talkin' blues" between the pages of discards (found objects) she collects from the free bins of the Smith Family bookstore in Eugene Oregon.

Providing at her B.F.A. commencement (the beginning of her life as an artist) a comfortable pink sofa with fresh green throw pillows, a little Gene Autry and "A Sunday Kind of Love" musical background for a gathering of "found" people who "read" her books often with whimsical smiling faces.

Megan nails the defunct corpses of old books (now frames for her poems and designs) on the gallery walls with the tacks she loves, this is interspersed with machine blowups of her photographs, which add a nice contrapuntal theme to the shards of books behind the sofa and on the coffee table. Megan is a southern woman and now she has a B.F.A. to nail to the wall when she goes home (tell your Maw, tell your Paw I'm gonna send you back to Arkansas - population 40,002). It is all here in the art, the depths of introspective experience, from one who knows how it all fits together in the package. It's a "found" life for the pack of us, don't you think? Megan has definitely found do and to make a difference, and she does it all with southern hospitality to boot!"

I am so fortunate to have this nugget, and like the art closed up in those old altered books, I thought this needed to be aired out and shared. My friend, Howard did this on his own accord, and I am grateful for his tangents and details; his writing helps me to remember myself at that time, as well as the show and the atmosphere.

Hope you enjoyed this review from the past. Have a lovely weekend. 

Book. 2019. £150

Friday, February 2, 2024

This message rode on the wind

And so everything is different now. Book. £150

This week has had a good flow to it for the most part and I am grateful.

I have seen daffodils, primroses, a bud on a rose bush, snowdrops, and crocuses. I even saw some yellow flowers I don't yet know the name of and I saw some faint green high up in the top of a tree. The wind continues to be wild but the light is returning and today it was even quite mild. 

I love hearing the birds start singing at 3am. 

I saw "All of Us Strangers" this week and thought it was a beautiful long-form poem of a film. Highly recommend. I listened to loads of my favourite old music and it could not have sounded better. I went to a couple of charity shops and found some good things. I took a photograph that made me happy. 

This week I enjoyed cooking simple meals, drinking green tea, and reading from a book about Zen with my morning porridge. 

It was one of those weeks. 

But this is an art blog so I suspect you might want to see or hear about some art. Last month, I focused on just 8 paper pieces and some prints. This month, I think I will feature my book series. A series very close to my heart and part of my painting origin story. 

I sold a small book piece at the open studios in December and it reminded me of how important that series is to me. I look forward to sharing it with you again. 

I know you must be tired. Book. £150

It was a pretty good week and many people helped to make it so.

Thank you.